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Central Officials Feast on Chicken and Mutton, Leave Drought-Hit Karnataka Farmers High and Dry

According to farmers, the top bureaucrats were busy devouring the elaborate spread arranged by the district administrations and visited the drought-affected farm lands for just five minutes.

D P Satish | News18dp_satish

Updated:November 19, 2018, 1:00 PM IST
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Central Officials Feast on Chicken and Mutton, Leave Drought-Hit Karnataka Farmers High and Dry
Four teams visited worst-affected Davanagere, Gadag, Chitradurga, Tumkur and Chikkaballapura districts to prepare a ground report for the Centre. (News18 Kannada)
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Bengaluru: The farmers in drought-affected districts of Karnataka are upset with the central assessment team from New Delhi for focusing more on a feast while spending just five minutes interacting with them.

According to farmers, the top bureaucrats were busy devouring the elaborate spread arranged by the district administrations and visited the drought-affected farm lands for just five minutes.

Four teams visited worst-affected Davanagere, Gadag, Chitradurga, Tumkur and Chikkaballapura districts to prepare a ground report for the Centre and the story is more or less the same everywhere, claim local farmers.

The Centre had sent teams to the state after the Karnataka government sent several requests to New Delhi seeking aide to help drought-hit farmers.

A team comprising Amitabh Gautham, RK Sharma and BK Srivastava visited a few villages in Davanagere district and spent less than five minutes in the farms, claim villagers.

According to a report in News18 Kannada, Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Davanagere Dr. Bagadi Gautham had arranged a feast for the visiting officials.

“They were busy eating chicken masala, egg masala, mutton chops and ragi mudde. The DC was more interested in pleasing the central team than explaining the real issues to them. The central team was behaving like gods,” a farmer said.

Another team comprising Dr. Masash Chaudhury, Sathyakumar, Subashchandra Meena and Dr. Shalini Saxena visited a few fields in Madhugiri, Pavagada and Koratagere taluks in Tumkur district.

Instead of giving a patient hearing to farmers’ grievances, the top bureaucrats advised them to avail insurance under Fasal Bhima Yojana, the crop insurance scheme, a farmer said.

“The central teams from New Delhi visit our areas every year. We can claim insurance only if more than 70% of the crop is damaged. The rules are stupid. Do we need an expensive team from Delhi to tell us this? What a waste of money,” the farmer said angrily.

According to central team officials, they will meet Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Monday and a detailed ground report will be submitted to the Centre in the next three days.

The district administration claimed that only the basic courtesies were extended to visiting teams and no expensive meal was arranged.

Karnataka is facing a strange situation this year. The monsoon was the heaviest in half the state and it failed in the remaining half causing a huge drought-like situation across eastern parts of the state.
| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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